We Did It!... Somehow?

Well, we left mid-Michigan just before the snow storm on February 8th. With suggestions from lots of you on the Forum here and on BROL, if only moral support and encouragement sometimes. Somehow my wife and I were able to fold her TerraTrike Traveler, and my new (used) Catrike 559 and meticulously fit them folded into our 2013 Toyota PriusV along with everything (but food) we will need on our 2-month long cross-country journey, including my camera gear. It took three hours to initially get just the trikes to fit. Now I can pack the whole care in half an hour, thanks to the suggestion to photograph the completed pack.

Like everything else in life, each trike has it's good points, and not so good points. The Catrike 559 takes about 2-3 minutes to complete the single fold and properly attach or store items. The TerraTrike Traveler, probably takes me 10 minutes to tri-fold and stow it's items now that I've done it a few times. But the Traveler folds much more compact than the 559, and only partly because of it's 26" rear wheel. It would have been a piece of cake to get two TerraTrike Travelers in and out of the Prius, even with 24" rear wheels like the one on Nancy's Traveler.

Why not just get a trike carrier or trailer? Well, mostly because fully loaded, traveling at speed limits up to 80 MPH, my 100,000 mile Prius still consistantly delivers us 40+ MPG! We typically travel 4-6,000 miles each winter we travel domestically. Try getting mileage like that with a carrier or trailer.

Nancy and I only unpack the trikes once everything else has been emptied out of the car and we are going to be in the same place for a few days. So far we have been able to ride several times in Gainesville, FL, with our friend Martha Monroe, and here on St George Island, FL, where we have been for the last week. Met a nice couple on Delta Trikes here, Helen and Dave.

Nancy and I are hoping to ride with a number of other folks here on the TerraTrike Forum, and on BROL, along our way. If any of you would enjoy putting a face with a name and do some easy riding, let us know. If you are along our route (net yet quite carved in stone) we would enjoy meeting and riding a ways together. And we do this trip every year or two... health permitting, so if we can't ride with you this year, maybe we can ride on our next trip.

Sunday, Feb 25, we head to New Orleans for a couple of days, then onto Galveston, TX, for a day of birding before heading to Houston, TX for a couple of days. Our current plan is to stay in Ft. Stockton, TX, for one night on March 2nd, before heading to Las Cruses, NM, March 3 and 4. We will be riding with @Ironman1518 if we can hook-up while we're in Las Cruses. Then it's on to the Phoenix/Mesa, AZ, area from March 9 to 16. We will be in the Tucson, AZ area riding with @TrikesterHal, and photographing Road Runners and other fun birds when we aren't riding, exploring, and visiting from roughly March 17th through the 31st. Undoubtedly day trips to Green Valley, St David, Sierra Vista, Patagonia, and Sweetwater Wetlands, all of which have great bird photography options, are in the cards. But I'm sure we will find opportunities to frequently ride our trikes as well.

We haven't exactly planned out the ride home yet, but we have doctor appointments in Michigan April 11th. Probably the last stop we will make before we get home will likely be near St. Louis, with my old-college roommate and his wife. We also want to visit friends in Santa Fe, and Taos, NM, on the way home. And we have family in Oklahoma City, OK, and are sure to stop there as well. We haven't decided if we will head to California from Tucson, yet, but he have friends in San Diego, Capistrano Beach, and others in cities I can't recall at the moment. We're trying out a lot of Air B&Bs for the first time this year. So far, so good. I'll give you all a better review when we return in April.

So give us a call or send us a text (the only way my grand kids will communicate) to, Two Six Nine, 986, eight 4 one nine. And I will call or text you back when I'm not behind the wheel. And thanks for the encouragement and suggestions.

TrikeBirder aka, Mike


  • PM me for my e-mail, please?
  • If you are headed down near Miami, there is a group called the South Florida Recumbent Riders on Facebook. I never was able to meet up with them and they like to go 20-30 miles which was out of my range. But, they ride almost every day. There is an awesome trail that goes from the east to the west coast in central Florida and another good one north of Tampa near a canal and the ocean.

    Let me know when you'll be traveling between Tallahassee and Pensacola. If nothing else, I can meet you for a meal. Getting out to ride with this puppy has been tough.
  • We would love to connect with both of you. @Ironman1518, I left you a message on your home page here on this Forum. I'm not sure if that is a private message, as anyone logged-on can read it. Since we don't always have WiFi, I end up looking at email about once a week. It works much better (and quicker) in you call or text me your info, and then I can contact you that way. If you need to use email to contact me, it is birder73 at gmail dot com (sorry for the cryptic listings here and above, but it is necessary to avoid the web bots that scour pages looking for contact info).

    @Florida_bound, (Theresa, if memory serves me right) Nancy and I would love to connect with you, we have an appointment at 2:20 this Sunday, at the Best Buy in Pensacola at the Geek Squad desk to fix Nancy's iPhone and change the battery. The repair should take only an hour, and we thought we would go to lunch then. If you are willing to meet us there (and then), we would be happy to treat you to lunch, since you'll likely end up driving a bit. Please call or text us if you can make that.

    Such fun!

  • @Chonk, we need a "LIKE" button for wonderful posts like this!
  • edited February 24
    Sounds like a plan. I will text you later today. What kind of food would you guys like. Pensacola has a lot of local selection.

    I really need a break from these two!
  • Food wise we are pretty flexible. Typically we seek out regional cuisine or ethnic food
    of some sort. But we can find something we like at almost any restaurant. If we meet up at Best Buy at 2:20, we can make a plan then. Alternately, you could choose a nearby restaurant and text us the address and we can meet you there. Knowing us, we are unlikely to arrive early, but, baring any unforeseen circumstances, we will be on time.

  • I love your dogs. So cute. What bundles of joy they must be.
  • When did you get a second dog?
  • I forgot to thank @Jrobiso2 for his/her kind words. Thanks!
  • I got her on Tuesday. Right now she is terrorizing the bigger one. I have her on a leash in the house because she is not housebroken at all. What was I thinking?
  • Assembling a dog team for the TT Winter Olympics-trikes on Skis.
  • Nancy & I had a nice thai lunch with Florida_bound in the Florida Panhandle today. Somehow, she is even more delightful in person! No time for a ride today. We did make it New Orleans though.
  • Enjoy the "Big Easy"!
  • I've written you, never heard back? When you coming thru 'Cruces?
  • The Big Easy was great! The Crayfish Beneits (sp?) at Katie's (awesome restaurant) were to die for! And chargrilled Oysters with garlic, butter, and panko breadcrumbs were amazing!

    But now we are in Las Cruses, New Mexico. Touched base with Ironman1518 and we are riding Sunday afternoon (March 4). Also touched base with TrikesterHal but we have a couple of weeks before we spend two weeks in Tucson.

    Anyone on the Forum who lives in the Mesa/Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona area? We will be there March 9 through 16, riding with friends from Canada who winter there.

    And we just booked an "off the grid" (strictly wind power and solar, but with all the accoutrements of home) mountain house in Portal Arizona for a couple of days of birding and photography.

    Great fun so far, with five more weeks to come. I'll keep ya posted as to our adventures.
  • That house in the mountains sound awesome!

    Enjoy that drive between El Paso and Tucson. My son hated it but no longer has to travel that path. I've never had the pleasure!
  • Greetings all from beautiful and sunny Scottsdale Arizona. WOW, how time fly when your having fun, and we are! It has been quite difficult to to find time to keep up with email and the Forum while we have been traveling. But, I would be remiss to allow any more time to pass before thanking and acknowledging the considerate assistance I received from fellow Forum member Freddie J., aka Ironman1518. While in Las Cruces, New Mexico we arranged with to ride a lovely paved river trail with Ironman. Unfortunately, do to conditions beyond any of our control, Freddie was unable to join us on our scheduled ride. But, in the words of the late infamous, Paul Harvey, “...and now the rest of the story”.

    I should have better heeded the warnings of all you southwestern Forum participants, but sadly, I had to learn the lesson the hard way. While Nancy's TerraTrike traveler had no issues, my relatively newly acquired 559 suffered a thorn induced flat roughly 5 miles out along the trail. My 559 came equipped with Presta valves on the Marathon Racer tires. I was unable to locate the tube leak while out on the trail. Nancy flagged down a friendly neighbor along the trail who offered to drive Nancy to our car and return to her place so we could load the trikes back into our Prius.

    Earlier, Ironman had offered the use of his well equipped home bike shop if I needed to complete any repairs or alterations. He also mentioned that he was a late night person. Since the spare tubes I had were Schrader valves, I needed to drill out the rims to accommodate the larger format Scharder valves.

    I called Ironman1518 once we were safely back to our Air B&B, and he invited me to come to his house for the needed alterations. We hit it off great, and talked and slowly worked for hours. In the end, I had Ironman drill out an file the Presta valve opening. He strongly recommended I use Slime and some sort of tire liner. He had Slime, but no tire liner (Mr Tuffy) that was the proper size, so we substituted Gorilla Tape and I installed my spare 20” Schader valve equipped tube. Thank you Freddie for the stimulating conversation and the awesome repair!
  • MY absolute pleasure Mike!! Shop is open anytime to anyone! Had fun late night chit chatting with you!
  • Let us know how the gorilla tape holds out please. My tire liner seems to move
    around some. Maybe some silicon?
  • Nancy and I had an absolutely FABULOUS 15 mile ride today with Trikester Hal along a beautiful portion of the 131 mile Tucson Loop Trail in Tucson, AZ today. Hardly any wind, amazing mostly sunny skies, and temperatures in the upper 60's. Afterwards, I picked up my computer that had died (so called "blue screen of death") following the latest Windows 10 update, showered, and met Hal at a hidden gem of a Mexican restaurant. There we broke bread and enjoyed more conversation as we all traded stories of days gone past.
  • I am really enjoying your journey. Thanks for sharing.

  • So how many members of this forum have you met so far?
  • edited March 20
    So far, I have had no additional flats. Once we got to Tucson, we went to Ajo bikes, the largest recumbent trike dealer in Arizona, and WOW! this place is huge. They had six bike/trike mechanics working there on Saturday. Given that all Catrikes come equipped with Marathon Racer (1.5") tires, and even a cursory examination of these tires illustrates how thin the tires are, I was advised (by multiple sources) to replace them with something thicker, like the Marathon Plus tire, I opted to replace my rear tire with a Big Apple Plus. I must note, however, that the Big Apple Plus is not nearly as thick as the Marathon Plus tire. Still, I opted for the Big Apple Plus.

    The folks at Ajo Bikes aren't big fans of Slime, as they say it too frequently clogs tire valves, and doesn't, they say, work very good in tube tires. Instead, they seem to prefer RhinoDillos tire liner or a thinner "Slime like" product called True Goo tire Sealant.

    I opted to wait on the tire liner, and just had True Goo added to all my other tires, including the tires on Nancy's TerraTrike Traveler. When I purchased the Big Apple Plus for the rear of the 559, I asked Ajo Bikes to put my Gorilla Tape on the inside of the new Big Apple Plus tire. First they tried to get it to stick to the inside of the tire as it was- no luck. Then they tried multiple cleaning products one by one on the inside of the tire and then wiping out the inside with a clean wet rag before drying it and re-trying the Gorilla Tape- still no luck. So I went with just True Goo in the tire.

    So, here is what I ended up with in my 559. Slime and Gorilla Tape in my front right Marathon Racer tire, True Goo alone in my left front Marathon Racer, and True Goo alone in my new Big Apple Plus rear tire. Nancy has a 24" rear standard Big Apple as her rear tire and former (now discontinued?) stock Schwalbe Marathon 406 20" x 1.5" tires on the TT Traveler front. The Traveler tires all have True Goo (alone) inside now.
  • A word about RhinoDillos tire liner. I'm no expert, in fact, I have zero experience with any sort of tire liners. I did however, speak at length with Leo, a 75 year-old part time employee at Ajo Bikes who claims to have 60 years of biking experience in the desert southwest. Leo said he has tried virtually everything. He told me I should have only used RhinoDillos tire liners in my tires and nothing else. But, he cautioned that many folks install them incorrectly. He says he rides 5,000 miles a year, and 4 years and 20,000 trike miles ago, he switched to RhinoDillos tire liners and hasn't had a single flat since.

    He instructed me to install RhinoDillos tire liners as follows. First, use the correct size liner that matches your tires. 2nd, NEVER cut the liner, instead, overlap it, but do so by first, finding the center of the outstretched liner and mark it with a permanent marker. Now, with the tire mounted on just one side of the rim, the tube (if you use them) partially inflated, begin carefully installing the RhinoDillos tire liner directly across the rim from the valve stem being sure to start inserting the liner at the mark you made with the permanent marker. Make sure you place the liner in slowly making sure it remains centered in the tire above the slightly inflated tube. Now, be sure to go back and check that the liner remains centered. When you reach the mark you made on the liner, over lap the remaining UN-Cut liner. Uncut because cutting the liner can leave a sharp edge that could later become a problem. Overlap the liner in this way- opposite the valve, so that the overlapped liner counter balances the tubes liner. Inflate the tube a little more and recheck your work. Finishes mounting the tire on the rim and install it back on the trike.

    Ironman1518 prefers Mr Tuffy tire liner, but I would be interested in any reference to an actual test for the various tire liners effectiveness. Any of these will undoubtedly work better that Gorilla Tape, but should not (so I'm told) be used in addition to any sort of tire liner. Ironman1518 and I were able to get the Gorilla Tape to stick to my Marathon Racer tires without too much difficulty. Hopefully, using Gorilla Tape as a liner along with Slime, will not be a problem down the road, but only time will tell. I'll be sure to keep you all posted.
  • edited March 21
    Did you manage to get any picts of this procedure on install of liners. My text comprehension is weaker than my visual comp. Thanks in advance.
    Also back into the cold of Rainy River, missing those Florida zephyrs
  • I like reading how a number of you found time to connect in the real world !
  • Sorry, no photos of the procedures. But everything is holding up so far.

    Also sorry I have not answered Florida_bounds question concerning how many folks we have met and ridden with so far. To this point I/we have met and ridden with Martha & Tom in Gainesville, FL, Mark & Matti on St George Island, FL., Bruce & Nancy in Mesa AZ, and Hal (aka TrikesterHal) in Tucson, AZ. Additionally, we met Theresa (aka Florida_bound) in the Florida, but we were unable to ride, and likewise with Freddie (aka Ironman1518) in Las Cruces, NM. So I guess we have ridden with 7 and met 2 others. I'm not counting the 4 trike riders I met at Ajo Bikes and chatted with as we tried each other's rides in the parking lot. And I am still waiting to hear from 8 Trike Groups member around Tucson who only left me with an email option to contact them... probably a safe and wise move event though it tends to be slow.
  • There's always Riderfest this summer
  • Speaking of Riderfest just wondering when it will be so I plan my trip up there.
  • Ridefest is July 28
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